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Friday, November 8, 2013

The End Of The World

Skeeter Davis - The End Of The World

    As I remember it. Dustbury puts up a post and mentions this tune. I don't recognize the title, but when I listen to that version I do. I mean I can hear the original in my head. I look up the original artist.and I find this version, which is a pale and weak imitation of the one I remember.
    I wonder how much of the difference is due to munging by the studio, and how much was just due to having an orchestra behind her, if that's what it was. Her twang is also less pronounced on this one. Coaching? Soundboard magic? Or did she just use a different accent on the TV version?
    There are a bunch of copies of this tune on YouTube, but the first few I tried were unembeddable because of the spoilsports at SME. That might be why there is ten seconds of silence at the beginning of this one.


CGHill said...

Skeeter's producer at RCA Victor was Chet Atkins, who knew all the tricks of the studio: I don't think she was double-tracked on "The End of the World," except during the middle eight, but she got a hefty dose of slap echo, and the string-heavy arrangement covers up whatever thinness you might have otherwise noticed.

One cover version that remains severely underrated: the throwaway LP track by Herman's Hermits. It's even slower than Skeeter's.

Chuck Pergiel said...

"Double tracking" I figured correctly, but "slap echo" is a new one to me.

CGHill said...

Also called "slap-back" echo: it's a single delay of 60 to 180 ms, enough to thicken the vocal a bit, but not enough to drown it in reverb. Sam Phillips of Sun Records was the absolute master of this technique; RCA Victor built an elaborate echo chamber in its Nashville facilities to duplicate the effect, before they found out that Sam was doing it inside the tape recorder.